June 19, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. - The UCLA baseball team was eliminated from the College World Series on Tuesday night, falling to Florida State, 4-1, before 23,409 at TD Ameritrade Park.
Florida State (50-16) scored two runs in the first inning against UCLA (48-16) and secured a 4-0 cushion after four innings. The Bruins managed one run and five hits in their final game of the season.
Scott Sitz (4-3) earned the win for the Seminoles, allowing one run and five hits in a season-high 6.2 innings. Sitz finished the game with eight strikeouts and one walk.
"I'm very proud of this group of players," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "I'm especially proud of this junior class. They've won more games than any class in school history. They've taken this thing to great heights."
The Bruins' loss on Tuessday evening capped a strong season in which UCLA posted its second-highest win total in school history (48) and secured back-to-back Pac-12 Conference titles for the first time in program history.
UCLA made its second trip to the College World Series in the last three seasons and for the fourth time in school history. The Bruins punched their ticket to Omaha, Neb., after having advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round for the third time in six seasons.
Against Florida State on Tuesday, UCLA starting pitcher Zack Weiss (3-3) absorbed the loss. The right-hander from Irvine, Calif., allowed two runs and one hit in one third of an inning. The Bruins' bullpen limited Florida State to two runs and eight hits through 7.1 frames.
Sherman Johnson reached base safely in four of five plate appearances for the Seminoles, going 2-for-3 with one double, two walks and two runs. Devon Travis and James Ramsey each went 2-for-3 with one run for Florida State.
The Seminoles led 2-0 after the first inning, taking advantage of four UCLA walks. Florida State loaded the bases against Weiss with one single and two walks. Consecutive bases-loaded walks from Weiss and relief pitcher Grant Watson helped the Seminoles score two runs. Watson induced an inning-ending groundout double play to end Florida State's early threat.
The Seminoles struck again in the fourth, loading the bases with Jayce Boyd coming to the plate. After Ryan Deeter replaced Watson on the mound for UCLA, Boyd dropped down a squeeze bunt to score one run. An errant throw home by Bruins' third baseman Kevin Kramer allowed a second run to score and give Florida State a 4-0 cushion.
UCLA fought back in the sixth inning when Keefer singled up the middle to score Williams, reducing Florida State's margin to 4-1. After loading the bases with nobody out in the inning, the Bruins failed to put any more runs across after Sitz struck out the next three batters.
Florida State threatened in the bottom half of the sixth after getting the first two runners on. David Berg entered to pitch for UCLA and induced a pop-out from Ramsey and a double-play grounder back to the mound to escape the jam.
The Bruins only managed to get one more baserunner the rest of the way, getting a single from Williams in the seventh.
Florida State's Robert Benincasa earned his 16th save in the ninth inning, recording three consecutive outs.
UCLA finished the year with a 48-16 record and won the Pac-12 Conference title for the second consecutive year, the first time that has been accomplished in program history.
Game Notes: UCLA reliever David Berg finished the season with 50 appearances, tied for second on the NCAA Division I all-time single-season list (behind Connor Falkenbach's 51 appearances at Florida in 2005) ... Berg's Pac-12-leading 1.46 ERA ranks fourth on UCLA's single-season list ... the Bruins' 48 single-season victories is second in school history, trailing UCLA's 51 victories in 2010 ... UCLA's junior class finished with 134 wins, the highest three-year win total in program history.